GERMAN Rail’s (DB) board member for freight traffic, Dr Sigrid Nikutta, unveiled the Freight Train of the Future at InnoTrans in Berlin. The train features a dual-mode locomotive, innovative modular wagons, Europe’s new Digital Automatic Coupler (DAC), and a digital information system.

The train is hauled by a Siemens Vectron Bo-Bo locomotive which can be powered by 15kV 16.7Hz overhead electrification or a diesel engine running on biodiesel for operation on non-electrified lines or in freight yards and terminals, with the idea of eliminating the use of shunting locomotives. The 120km/h locomotive has an output at the wheel of 2.21MW in electric mode and 926kW in diesel operation. It is fitted with a 1500-litre fuel tank. The Vectron has a starting tractive effort of 300kN and a 21-tonne axleload.

The train’s m2 wagons are modular and are designed for use with multifunctional loading units and can be used for wagonload or block train traffic. They have fittings for containers or loading using forklift trucks or for roll-on or roll-off freight. They can carry between 16 and 19 tonnes of freight and are between 10.8 and 22.66m long.

The wagons will be coupled together by the new DAC incorporating air and electrical connectors which is currently being tested in Europe.

The train will also be connected to DB’s link2rail digital information system which manages wagon ordering, billing and what DB describes as “the best wagon tracing system on rail.”